by Aldous Huxley
For the color yellow in the Colorful Reading Challenge
I understand that this writer was a very popular writer. He was know for writing science fiction mostly, I believe. This book was his debut novel and was written in a dialogue style. Some people like this type of thing. It seriously reminded me of a long-winded Woody Allen movie, one of his later movies that seem to be mostly dialogue between characters. Not just dialogue, but "Literary", Important, Lofty dialogue.
Woven within all this dialogue, I believe is a plot where Denis is in love with Ann. Denis is a writer, Ann is part of a wealthy "landed" family. Apparently there are many men in love with Anne, and she's not really interested in any of them. At the same time her sister Mary has decided to act on her passions, so that she doesn't suffer from repressed or suppressed passions, but all the men visiting at the time are obsessed with Anne, and don't take Mary seriously. This part sounds interesting, but unfortunately it is suffused with many, many instances of each character falling into Great Discussions of Many Ideas. I'm sure this type of book is very interesting to some, but I just found myself extremely frustrated. Some of the conversations were interesting, such as when the lord of the manor was reading passages from his history of his family. I think those were the most interesting pieces of the book. This was written slightly humorously. It would make a funny movie, I have no idea if it has been-certainly I've seen movies with all the comedic maneuverings of people trying to win their true love, but this was overshadowed (for me anyway) with ALL the Great Conversations going on left and right.
I also understand that this book was written in 1922, and I am living in 2009; I am used to reading modern books and have very little patience reading an extreme about of conversations (GREAT Lofty conversations) to find out what will happen to the characters. Does Mary really have her passions freed? (does this actually mean she had sex? or did she just make out all night and watch the sunrise with a certain someone) . Does Dennis get his love? Does anyone end up with Anne?
I feel a little guilty because I had to force myself to finish this book, and most of the time I didn't enjoy it. There were enjoyable sections, some humorous sections. There was a conversation about pregnancies in glass bottles for the future. But on the whole, as a whole I didn't like this book.
I am interested however in reading, or trying out one or two of Aldous Huxley's later books. Especially books written after he started to experiment with LSD. I know, that's not really very nice of me, but I'm curious. Does the writing get better? worse? the same? Less conversation and more narrative?
If you LOVE, Love, love movies and books like Woody Allen's movies with a lot of conversation, then you'll enjoy this book. All the characters are very intelligent and well-spoken. There is no denying that Aldous Huxley was a very intelligent man. I just couldn't decide if he was satiring the wealthy with the endless philosophying or if he was being serious.